PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has admitted he struggled to give his best performances in his first season at the club after being rotated with Keylor Navas by manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The Italian was one of five high profile arrivals at PSG last season as he was signed alongside Lionel Messi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi, but did not become the club’s No 1 goalkeeper straight away.
His first appearance for the club didn’t come until September despite signing from AC Milan in July and arriving on the high of winning Euro 2020 with Italy, and he ended up playing just 16 times this season – with Pochettino finding it difficult to choose between two top keepers.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (L) has admitted his first season at PSG ‘wasn’t easy’ after being rotated with fellow goalkeeper Keylor Navas
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino found it difficult to choose between his two top goalkeepers
Donnarumma was linked with an exit this summer after his lack of minutes, but he has insisted that while his first campaign has ‘not been easy’, he wants to stay at the club for the 2022-23 campaign.
‘I want to stay at PSG,’ he said, as reported by Calcio Mercato.
‘I am happy with my first trophy in the Paris Saint-Germain shirt. I am very proud to belong to this club, which is very ambitious and always aiming higher. When I arrived, I didn’t feel the pressure from the European Championships, although it wasn’t easy to settle in.’
‘It has not been an easy season, I know I can do more, I played half of the matches and I could not give my best, but I am convinced I can give much more to this team and this club.’
Donnarumma said the lack of action hindered him but said he won’t share the role next season
Navas – formerly of Real Madrid – ended up playing more times, with 20 starts in goal to help them on their way to the Ligue 1 crown, though Donnarumma does not expect to share the responsibilities next season – saying he had a ‘great relationship’ with the Costa Rican and that he suffered from the uncertainty too.
‘No, I don’t think it will be like that. The club will make choices. I have a great relationship with Keylor, we are two good guys, we understand the situation, but it was difficult for him too.
‘Let’s say we made it, with the help of the whole group and with the understanding between us.’
PSG steamrolled their way to the Ligue 1 title this season – they are currently 12 points clear of nearest challengers Marseille – but the Champions League continues to elude them.
He opened up on his disastrous mistake against Real Madrid in the Champions League after Karim Benzema robbed him of possession
This season they were knocked out by Real Madrid, 4-1 on aggregate, despite winning the first leg 1-0, with Donnarumma making a crucial error in the second leg as Karim Benzema robbed him of possession in his own box before rolling home.
Donnarumma says he feel no guilt for the mistake and vowed that PSG will ‘show everyone who we are’ in the competition next season, saying the club had to stop their ‘obssession’ with winning it.
‘I don’t feel guilty, not at all. We know what happened, the goal wasn’t a regular goal, but we could have handled the rest of the game better. But now we have to look ahead, the past is in the past, there’s nothing we can do to go back and play Champions League football again.
‘Next year we will show everyone who we are. We have the means to win in Europe, but it must not become an obsession. Obsession would take us nowhere, we just have to keep calm, do what we know how to do, play football, work and the results will come.’